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Undoing the Ideology of Growth: Hegemony, Path Dependencies and Power in the History of the Growth Paradigm

Matthias Schmelzer

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Degrowth.de Blog


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"Degrowth aims at undoing growth. Undoing growth both at the level of social structures and social imaginaries. Although the focus is very often on the latter, i.e. the ‚Äúdecolonization of imaginaries‚ÄĚ as put by Serge Latouche, the degrowth perspective still seems to lack a comprehensive understanding of the role of ideology, the path dependencies and the power that shape these imaginations. (...)

My recently published book The Hegemony of Growth. The OECD and the Making of the Growth Paradigm is an attempt to give more historical and social depth to our understanding of what the undoing of growth would actually entail. Without falling in the opposite trap of entirely disregarding the role of knowledge and collective imaginaries in favor of economic and social structures, I propose to understand the growth paradigm as a historically constructed and powerfully hegemonic ideology. What do I mean by this and what are the key arguments of the book?"

Published on 7 July 2016 on Degrowth.de

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